Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
If you were in New York City on Thursday, October 24th, chances are you rode the subway. You weren't alone.
The New York Times reported the MTA broke its all time single day ridership record on that day last month, when 5,985,311 people rode the subway.
Octobers tend to be busy months for transit -- people take fewer vacations, there are fewer holidays, and kids are in school. The evening is also popular, since many people starting their weekends early by going out Thursday night.
Another factor: MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg says the changing economy is playing a role in the increased riders. "You have more people who are working in health care, working in hospitality, working in tech," he said, "jobs that don't require you to be at a desk at 9 and get up and leave at 5."
Gene Russianoff, staff attorney with the Straphangers Campaign, says the last time ridership was this high was in the post-war 1950s.
"The city had three shifts for a lot of its workers and people often worked a six-day work week," he said, "so it was incredibly central to the city's economy."
He added: "And as it is today, incredibly crowded."